The Roman Bridge over the Guadalquivir and the Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba
|Nickname(s): La Ciudad Califal, Córdoba la Llana|
|Location of Córdoba in Spain|
|Coordinates: / 37.88333; -4.76667 / 37.88333; -4.76667|
|• Type||Mayor-council government|
|• Body||Ayuntamiento de Córdoba|
|• Mayor||Isabel Ambrosio Palos (PSOE)|
|• Total||1,253 km (484 sq mi)|
|Elevation||106 m (348 ft)|
|Population (January 1, 2016)|
|• Density||260/km (680/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Cordobés/sa, cordobense, cortubí, patriciense|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
Córdoba (//, Spanish: [ˈkoɾðoβa]), also called Cordova (//) in English, is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain, and the capital of the province of Córdoba. It was a Roman settlement. It was conquered by Muslim armies in the eighth century, and then became the capital of the Islamic Emirate and then Caliphate of Córdoba, including most of the Iberian Peninsula.
Caliph Al Hakam II opened many libraries in addition to the many medical schools and universities which existed at the time, making Córdoba a centre for education. During these centuries, Córdoba became a society ruled by Muslims, in which all other groups had a second-class status. It returned to Christian rule in 1236, during the Reconquista. Today it is a moderately sized modern city; its population in 2011 was about 330,000. The historic centre was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Córdoba has the warmest summer high temperatures in Spain and Europe with average high temperatures around 37 °C (99 °F) in July and similar heat in August.
The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 42,000 to 35,000 BC In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy. The first historical mention of a settlement dates, however, to the Carthaginian expansion across the Guadalquivir, when the general Hamilcar Barca renamed it Kartuba, from Kart-Juba, meaning "the City of Juba", the latter being a Numidian commander who had died in a battle nearby. Córdoba was conquered by the Romans in 206 BC.
In 169 the Roman consul M. Claudius Marcellus, grandson of Marcus Claudius Marcellus, who had governed both Further and Hither Spain, founded a Latin colony alongside the pre-existing Iberian settlement. Between 143 and 141 BC the town was besieged by Viriatus. A Roman Forum is known to have existed in the city in 113 BC. The famous Cordoba Treasure, which mixes local and Roman artistic traditions, was buried in the city at this time. It can now be found in the collections of the British Museum.
It became a colonia with the title Patricia, between 46 and 45 B.C. It was sacked by Caesar in 45 for its Pompeian allegiance, and settled with veterans by Augustus. It became capital of Baetica and had a colonial and provincial forum and many temples. It was the chief center of Roman intellectual life in Hispania Ulterior (Further Spain). Its republican poets were succeeded by the Senecas and Lucan.
At the time of Julius Caesar, Córdoba was the capital of the Roman province of Hispania Ulterior / Baetica. Great Roman philosophers such as Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger, orators such as Seneca the Elder, and poets such as Lucan came from Roman Cordoba.
In the late Roman period, its bishop Hosius (Ossius) was the dominant figure of the western Church throughout the earlier 4th cent. Later, it occupied an important place in the Provincia Hispaniae of the Byzantine Empire (552–572) and under the Visigoths, who conquered it in the late 6th century.
Córdoba was captured in 711 by a Moorish army. Unlike other Iberian towns, no capitulation was signed and the position was taken by storm. Córdoba was in turn governed by direct Moorish rule. The new Moorish commanders established themselves within the city and in 716 it became a provincial capital, subordinate to the Caliphate of Damascus; in Arabic it was known as قرطبة (Qurṭubah).
Different areas were allocated for the services in the Saint Vincent Church shared by Christian and Moors, until the former Mosque started to be erected on the same spot under Abd-ar-Rahman I. Abd al-Rahman allowed the Christians to rebuild their ruined churches and purchased the Christian half of the church of St Vincent. In May 766, it was chosen as the capital of the independent Muslim emirate of al-Andalus, later a Caliphate itself. During the caliphate apogee (1000 AD), Córdoba had a population of roughly 500,000 inhabitants, though estimates range between 350,000 and 1,000,000. In the 10th and 11th centuries, Córdoba was one of the most advanced cities in the world as well as a great cultural, political, financial and economic centre. The Great Mosque of Córdoba dates back to this time. Upon a change of rulers, though, the situation changed quickly. "The vizier al-Mansur–the unofficial ruler of al-Andalus from 976 to 1002-burned most of the books on philosophy to please the Moorish clergy; most of the others were sold off or perished in the civil strife not long after.
In the ninth and tenth centuries, Córdoba was “one of the most important cities in the history of the world.” In it, “Christians and Jews were involved in the Royal Court and the intellectual life of the city.”
Regarding Córdoba's importance, Reinhardt Dozy wrote:
The fame of Córdoba penetrated even distant Germany: the Saxon nun Hroswitha, famous in the last half of the 10th century for her Latin poems and dramas, called it the Ornament of the World.- Reinhardt Dozy
Córdoba had a prosperous economy with its “skilled artisans and agricultural infrastructure,” The manufactured goods for sale included “leather and metal work, glazed tiles and textiles.” The agricultural produce included fruits, vegetables, spices, herbs, and raw materials such as “cotton, flax and silk.”
Córdoba was also famous as “a centre of learning.” Education was “taken seriously.” Al-Hakam II had a large library. Knowledge in the fields of “medicine, mathematics, astronomy, botany” exceeded the rest of Europe.
Roger Collins wrote:
The Arab conquest created the conditions for a state of almost permanent warfare in the Iberian Peninsula ... and in scale and intensity exceeded anything to be found elsewhere in Western Europe in these centuries.- Roger Collins in "Caliphs and Kings: Spain, 796-1031"
In 1002, Al-Mansur was returning to Córdoba from an expedition in the area of Rioja when he died. His death was the beginning of the demise of Córdoba. Abd al-Malik al-Muzaffar, al-Mansur’s older son, succeeded his father’s authority, but he died in 1008, possibly by assassination. Sanchuelo, Abd al-Malik’s younger brother succeeded him. While Sanchuelo was away fighting Alfonso V of Leon, a revolution made Mohammed II al-Mahdi the Caliph. Sanchuelo sued for pardon but he was killed when he returned to Cardova. The slaves revolted against Mahdi, killed him in 1009, and replaced him with Hisham II in 1010. Hisham II wore a veil, used makeup, kept a male harem, and was forced out of office. In 1012, the Berbers “sacked Cardova.” In 1016, the slaves captured Cardova and searched for Hisham II, but he had escaped to Asia. This event was followed by a fight for power until Hisham III, who was the last of the Umayyads, was routed out of Córdoba in 1031.
After 1031, Córdoba lost its prosperity and fame and became an isolated city. The “ruling elite” were well known for their “disinterest in the outside world “ and “their intellectual laziness.”
During the Spanish Reconquista, Córdoba was captured by King Ferdinand III of Castile on 29 June 1236, after a siege of several months. The city was divided into 14 colaciones, and numerous new church buildings were added.
The city declined, especially after Renaissance times. In the 18th century it was reduced to just 20,000 inhabitants. The population and economy started to increase only in the early 20th century.
With the most extensive historical heritages in the world declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO (on 17 December 1984), the city also features a number of modern areas, including the districts of Zoco and the railway station district.
The regional government (the Junta de Andalucía) has for some time been studying the creation of a Córdoba Metropolitan Area that would comprise, in addition to the capital itself, the towns of Villafranca de Córdoba, Obejo, La Carlota, Villaharta, Villaviciosa, Almodóvar del Río and Guadalcázar. The combined population of such an area would be around 351,000.
The city is on the banks of the Guadalquivir river, and its easy access to the mining resources of the Sierra Morena (coal, lead, zinc) satisfies the population's needs.
The city is in a depression of the valley of the Guadalquivir. In the north is the Sierra Morena, which defines the borders of the municipal area.
Córdoba is one of the few cities in the world that has a near-exact antipodal city – Hamilton, New Zealand.
Córdoba has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). Córdoba has the highest summer average daily temperatures in Europe (averaging 36.9 °C (98 °F) in July) and days with temperatures over 40 °C (104 °F) are common in the summer months. August's 24-hour average of 28.0 °C (82 °F) is also among the highest in Europe, despite having relatively cool nightly temperatures.
Winters are mild to cool with isolated frosts. Precipitation is concentrated in the coldest months; this is due to the Atlantic coastal influence. Precipitation is generated by storms from the west that occur most frequently from December through February. This Atlantic characteristic then gives way to a hot summer with significant drought more typical of Mediterranean climates. Annual rain surpasses 600 mm (24 in), although there is a recognized inter-annual irregularity.
Registered maximum temperatures at the Córdoba Airport (located at 6 kilometres (4 miles) of the city) are 46.6 °C (115.9 °F) (23 July 1995) and 46.2 °C (115.2 °F) (1 August 2003). The minimum temperature ever recorded was −8.2 °C (17.2 °F) (28 January 2005).
|Climate data for Córdoba (1981-2010), extremes (1949-2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||22.9
|Average high °C (°F)||14.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||9.3
|Average low °C (°F)||3.6
|Record low °C (°F)||−8.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||66
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||7||6||5||7||5||1||0||1||3||7||6||8||57|
|Average relative humidity (%)||76||71||64||60||55||48||41||43||52||66||73||79||60|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||174||186||218||235||289||323||363||336||248||205||180||148||2,905|
|Source: Agencia Estatal de Meteorología|
Córdoba has the second largest Old town in Europe, the largest urban area in the world declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The most important building and symbol of the city, the Great Mosque of Córdoba and current cathedral, alongside the Roman bridge, are the best known facet of the city. Other Roman remains include the Roman Temple, the Theatre, Mausoleum, the Colonial Forum, the Forum Adiectum, an amphitheater and the remains of the Palace of the Emperor Maximian in the Archaeological site of Cercadilla, among others.
Near the cathedral is the old Jewish quarter, which consists of many irregular streets, such as Calleja de las Flores and Calleja del Pañuelo, and which is home to the Synagogue and the Sephardic House. In the extreme southwest of the Old Town is the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, a former royal property and the seat of the Inquisition; adjacent to it are the Royal Stables, a breeding place of the Andalusian horse. Near the stables are located, along the walls, the medieval Baths of the Caliphate. In the south of the Old town and east of the great cathedral, in the Plaza del Potro, is the Posada del Potro, a row of inns mentioned in literary works such as Don Quixote and La Feria de los Discretos and which remained active until 1972. Both the plaza and the inn get their name from the fountain in the centre of the plaza, which represents a foal. Not far from this plaza is the Arco del Portillo (a 14th-century arch).
Along the banks of the Guadalquivir are the Mills of the Guadalquivir, moorish era buildings that took advantage of the water force to grind flour. They include the Albolafia, Alegría, Carbonell, Casillas, Enmedio, Lope García, Martos, Pápalo, San Antonio, San Lorenzo and San Rafael mills.
Surrounding the large Old town are the Roman walls: gates include the Puerta de Almodóvar, the Puerta de Sevilla and Puerta del Puente, which are the only three gates remaining from the original thirteen. Towers and fortresses include the Malmuerta Tower, the Belén Tower and the Puerta del Rincón's Tower, and the fortress of the Calahorra Tower and of the Donceles Tower.
Palace buildings in the Old Town include the Palacio de Viana (14th century) and the Palacio de la Merced among others. On the outskirts of the city lies the Archaeological site of the city of Medina Azahara, which, together with the Alhambra in Granada, is one of the main Spanish-Muslim architectures in Spain.
Other sights are the Cuesta del Bailío (a staircase connecting the upper and lower part of the city) and the Minaret of San Juan, once part of a mosque.
The city is home to 12 Christian churches that were built (many as transformations of mosques) by Ferdinand III of Castile after the reconquest of the city in the 13th century. They were to act both as churches and as the administrative centres in the neighborhoods into which the city was divided in medieval times. Some of those that remain are:
Scattered throughout the city are ten statues of Archangel Raphael, protector and custodian of the city. These are called Triumphs of Saint Raphael and are located in landmarks such as the Roman Bridge, the Puerta del Puente and the Plaza del Potro.
In the western part of the Historic Centre are the statue to Seneca (near the Puerta de Almodóvar, a gate of Islamic origin, (the Statue of Averroes (next to the Puerta de la Luna), and Maimonides (in the plaza de Tiberiades). Further south, near the Puerta de Sevilla, are the sculpture to the poet Ibn Zaydún and the sculpture of the writer and poet Ibn Hazm and, inside the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, the monument to the Catholic Monarchs and Christopher Columbus.
There are also several sculptures placed in plazas of the Old Town. In the central Plaza de las Tendillas is the equestrian statue of the Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, in the Plaza de Capuchinos is the Cristo de los Faroles, in Plaza de la Trinidad is the statue of Luis de Góngora, in the Plaza del Cardenal Salazar is the bust of Ahmad ibn Muhammad abu Yafar al-Gafiqi, in the Plaza de Capuchinas is the statue to the bishop Osio, in Plaza del Conde de Priego is the monument to Manolete and the Campo Santo de los Mártires is a statue to Al-Hakam II and the monument to the lovers.
In the Jardines de la Agricultura is the monument to the painter Julio Romero de Torres, a bust by sculptor Mateo Inurria, the bust of the poet Julio Aumente and the sculpture dedicated to the gardener Aniceto García Roldán, who was killed in the park. Further south, in the Gardens of the Duke of Rivas, is a statue of the writer and poet Ángel de Saavedra, 3rd Duke of Rivas made by the sculptor Mariano Benlliure.
In the Guadalquivir river, near the San Rafael Bridge is the Island of the sculptures, an artificial island with a dozen stone sculptures executed during the International Sculpture Symposium. Up the river, near the Miraflores bridge, is the "Hombre Río", a sculpture of a swimmer looking to the sky and whose orientation varies depending from the current.
Córdoba has a total of seven bridges.
Currently the mayor of Córdoba is Isabel Ambrosio (PSOE).
The City Council of Córdoba is divided into different areas: the Presidency, Security, Mobility, Equality and Participation; the Planning, Housing, Infrastructure and Environment; the Economy, Trade, Employment and Management; the Social; the Cultural Services and Tourism. The council holds regular plenary session once a month, but often held extraordinary plenary session to discuss issues and problems affecting the city.
The Governing Board, chaired by the mayor, consists of five councillors of United Left (IU), two councilors of Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) and other three members not elected. The municipal council consists of 29 members: 14 of People's Party, 11 of IU and 4 of PSOE.
|1983–1987||Julio Anguita (until February 1, 1986)
|Manuel Pérez Pérez||IU|
|2007–2011||Rosa Aguilar (until April 23, 2009)
|2011–2015||José Antonio Nieto Ballesteros||PP|
|2015||Isabel Ambrosio Palos||PSOE-IU-Ganemos Córdoba|
Since July 2008, the city is divided into 10 administrative districts, coordinated by the Municipal district boards, which in turn are subdivided into neighbourhoods
Tourism is especially intense in Córdoba during May because of the weather and as this month hosts three festivals.
The May Crosses Festival takes place at the beginning of the month. During three or four days, crosses of around 3 m height are placed in many squares and streets and decorated with flowers and a contest is held to choose the most beautiful one. Usually there is regional food and music near the crosses.
The Patios Festival is celebrated during the second and third week of the month. Many houses of the historic centre open their private patios to the public and compete in a contest. Both the architectonic value and the floral decorations are taken into consideration to choose the winners. It is usually very difficult and expensive to find accommodation in the city during the festival.
Córdoba's Fair takes place at the ending of the month and is similar to the better known Sevilla Fair with some differences, mainly that the Sevilla one is private, while the Cordoba one is not.
Córdoba was the birthplace of the following philosophers and religious scholars:
Córdoba was also the birthplace of
The Renaissance philosopher Abraham Cohen de Herrera and the Jewish mystic Moses ben Jacob Cordovero both descended from families which lived in Córdoba before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.
The painter Julio Romero de Torres (1874–1930).
More recently, several flamenco artists were born here as well, including
The city is connected by high speed trains to the following Spanish cities: Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Málaga and Zaragoza. More than 20 trains per day connect the downtown area, in 54 minutes, with Málaga María Zambrano station, which provides interchange capability to destinations along the Costa del Sol, including Málaga Airport. The city is also well connected by highways with the rest of the country and Portugal.
Córdoba is twinned with:
Archived 8 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
Art.° 47.- Regular Meetings.- The Plenary holds a regular meetings once a month, on the date and time is decided by agreement of the plenary (...)
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|Historic centre of Córdoba||
Capitals of provinces of Spain
Comarcas of Andalusia